I don't doubt the Tea Party folks have been a huge help for Republicans, particularly in House races and lower-ballot places, where voters are less attuned to the details of the various candidates.
But in statewide races, and particularly the Senate, the teabaggers likely cost the GOP the majority.
First, the easy calls -- the GOP would've easily picked up Nevada, Delaware, and Colorado had the establishment candidates won. Nevada was toxic for Reid, who was polling in the 30s at one point. Republican Rep. (and former Gov) Mike Castle was a surefire GOP pickup in Delaware. And Sen. Michael Bennet barely eked out a victory in Colorado against a real nutjob candidate. He'd be toast against a conventional Republican (like Kelly Ayotte in New Hampshire).
Now, those three would've given the GOP a 50-50 Senate, which would still leave Democrats (nominally) in control.
But the teabaggers were even more damaging than that. ...
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Comment: It is amazing how little these political pundits (both on the left and right) understand the tidal current that is moving below the surface in this country. And what's amazing is how the left fails to acknowledge the level of sabotage the Republican Party inflicted upon the Tea Party or in many cases co-opted the movement. This goes for their operative groups like ACORN, the DNC and MoveOn.
At the end of the day the Tea Party did what it set out to do, which was to aggressively shake the tree of liberty, even if they were sabotaged. But Soros and Moulitsas should know this is only the beginning. The liberty moment will grow even larger between now and 2012, and you can bet as it happened in this election, Democrats are increasingly becoming Independent and moving to libertarian ideals. No matter the number of lies one tells eventually truth does win.